The Stromanthe Triostar (Stromanthe sanguinea) is one of the most beautiful houseplants you can keep at home. I love the pastel colors and warm, tropical vibes. I don’t think there is any better houseplant to cure the winter blues.
Many plants in the Marantaceae family (also known as the prayer plant family) are decorated with unique, striking foliage. Their leaves look as though they have been hand-painted!
These plants naturally thrive as understory plants in the jungles of Brazil. This makes them ideal for keeping in the home as they are more tolerant of lower light levels.
- Stromanthe Triostar lighting requirements
- How often to water Stromanthe Triostar
- Ideal humidity for Stromanthe Triostar
- Soil mixture recipes for Stromanthe Triostar
- Best fertilizer for Stromanthe Triostar
- Stromanthe Triostar leaves turning up
- Stromanthe Triostar common problems
- Stromanthe Triostar propagation
Stromanthe Triostar lighting requirements
Stromanthe Triostar will grow best in medium to low light. If you give this houseplant too much light, the leaves will fade and they’ll lose their beautiful colors. Keep in mind that this plant is a native understory plant. It typically grows under much taller trees, so they do not receive direct light.
An East or West facing window will keep this plant happy. You can also keep it a comfortable distance from a South-facing window (at least 3 feet away). Keep an eye out for fading colors, as this is an indication it is getting too much light.
How often to water Stromanthe Triostar
This plant likes to be consistently moist and potted in a well-draining soil. I would also recommend using filtered or distilled water for this plant.
It can be really sensitive to minerals, chlorine, and fluoride that may be in your unfiltered tap water. Distilled or filtered water will help prevent the leaf edges from turning brown.
Ideal humidity for Stromanthe Triostar
If possible, try to maintain a humidity level of at least 50% indoors for this plant. You can mist the leaves of your Stromanthe, but it will not provide lasting humidity effects.
Native to the forest floors where humidity levels are higher, these plants will appreciate extra humidity. If you don’t have a humidifier running, at the very least you’ll want to group this plant with some others to keep it happy.
Soil mixture recipes for Stromanthe Triostar
When it comes to making the perfect soil mixture for your Stromanthe, you certainly have options. This plant does not like to be waterlogged, and it prefers a rich soil that is well-draining. Mixing your favorite potting mix along with some perlite, wood chips, or pumice for drainage will work just fine.
You can also add compost or worm castings for slow-release nutrition. Horticultural charcoal is another excellent addition for a Stromanthe soil mixture, as it helps rid the soil of impurities that these plants are very sensitive to!
Here are some sample soil recipes for your Stromanthe Triostar:
- 50% peat moss, 30% perlite, 20% worm castings
- 50% coco coir, 30% pumice, 20% worm castings
- 50% coco coir or peat moss, 20% pumice, 20% horticultural charcoal, 10% worm castings
- 60% peat moss or coco coir, 40% perlite (requires fertilizer)
Tip: If you are looking for the perfect ready-made soil for your houseplants, keep it simple and check out our favorite Chunky Houseplant Mix from Sol Soils. Use code “GEEKY” for 10% off!
Best fertilizer for Stromanthe Triostar
Fertilize with every watering during the summer, and then cut back to once a month during the winter months. I use one capful per gallon of filtered water. I also recommend supplementing your soil mixture with earthworm castings and horticultural charcoal.
Stromanthe Triostar leaves turning up
If you own a plant in the prayer plant family, you may have noticed the way they their foliage moves from day to night. In the daylight hours, the leaves will be spread out more horizontally. At nighttime, they fold up towards the sky (giving them the name, prayer plant).
This movement is known as nyctinasty, and it’s actually the circadian movement of the plants in a natural response to darkness. The movement happens very slowly, but it’s still noticeable to us as we see our plants several times per day.
So, why does this happen? There are many theories as to why these plants fold up in the evening. One idea is that the plant is conserving heat, while also preventing insects from feeding on its leaves. Because of the dark purple/reddish leaf undersides, the plant is also protecting itself and “hiding” when it folds up. Herbivores are more likely to feast on green, tasty-looking leaves.
Stromanthe Triostar common problems
As with any houseplant, there are a few common problems that may arise with your Stromanthe Triostar. These plants are known to be a bit fussy, so don’t fret if yours does not look perfect. Most of them don’t.
In fact, these plants tend to look better from a bit of a distance. Here are some general problems (and solutions) that may arise with your Stromanthe plant.
Stromanthe Triostar brown tips and leaf edges
If you notice the edges of your Stromanthe turning brown and dry, there are a few issues to consider. Be sure your plant is staying consistently moist and do not let it dry out between waterings. If you’re on a good watering schedule and the soil is satisfactory, you may have an issue with humidity.
These plants do like higher levels of humidity, so be sure to supplement if needed. The browning leaf edges can also be caused by the type of water you are using. Use filtered water if possible.
Browning leaf tips is not harmful to the plant. However, it isn’t the prettiest to look at. You can trim the tips of your Stromanthe if you prefer.
Stromanthe Triostar leaf edges curling up
If your Stromanthe is not getting enough humidity, you’ll notice the edges of the leaves curling up to conserve moisture. This can also happen if the plant is exposed to too much direct light. It’s a natural defense, as the plant is tying to “shield” itself and prevent excessive evaporation out of the plant cells.
It is also worth noting that new leaves will uncurl as they form. So, if you notice a curled leaf, it may actually be a sign of new growth!
Stromanthe Triostar leaves pointing down
If your Stromanthe plant is not turning its leaves up at night and the leaves are consistently pointing downward, it may be getting too much light. Try moving it to a location that gets a bit less light.
If the leaves are mushy and drooping downward or accompanied by mushy stems, you may have root rot or an overwatering issue.
I do have some varities of prayer plants that are “supposed” to move, and they just don’t. They’re still perfectly happy and healthy houseplants! It’s not worth overthinking too much, as long as the plant is healthy and putting out new growth.
Stromanthe Triostar propagation
You cannot propagate your Stromanthe from cuttings. However, most Stromanthes will clump together and they can be divided quite easily.
To propagate your Stromanthe, divide the mother plant in the spring or summer. Carefully separate the roots and place the new division in fresh soil.
Despite it’s reputation for being fussy and finicky, I think this is one of the best houseplants you can keep in your home. As the parent of a very curious cat, I love that it is a pet-friendly plant. Our Stromanthe Triostar brings color into the home without the risk that other toxic tropical plants bring.
With proper care, this plant will thrive and grow for many years in your home. It will reward you with colorful, decorative foliage that can brighten up any space.